I love when people ask me for Chicago travel advice. I mean, I’ve lived in the city my entire life. My family and I actually go out to experience much of what Chicago has to offer. So, I think I’m a fairly qualified person to ask for advice. The only time I feel a bit uncertain is when folks ask me for Chicago hotel recommendations. See, the problem is, because I live in the city, I don’t have the opportunity (or the need, really) to spend the night in many Chicago hotels. But a couple of months ago, the kids and I spent the night at Kinzie Hotel in downtown Chicago. After our experience, I don’t feel uncertain anymore about which Chicago hotel to recommend.
Right off the bat, Kinzie Hotel meets my family hotel requirements: moderately priced; conveniently located; complimentary breakfast. (Strong, free WiFi is another requirement but it’s much more prevalent these days.) That’s just for starters.
Why Kinzie Hotel is where to stay in Chicago with kids
Moderately priced. It is no secret that Chicago hotels can be pricey and rates fluctuate according to the seasons, holidays, and major events taking place in the city. Kinzie Hotel follows the same formula to stay competitive; however, for a boutique luxury hotel, prices are still reasonable when compared to other properties in the same league.
Convenient location. Not only is Kinzie Hotel conveniently located, its position in River North is virtually unbeatable. The hotel is just about a half-mile from the Mag Mile shopping corridor; steps from the cafes and restaurants of the Riverwalk; and a short walk from public transit. Whether your family chooses to go on foot, request an Uber, or hail a taxi, Chicago’s world-class museums and other famous attractions are easily accessible from the hotel. Kinzie Hotel doesn’t use the hashtag #ChicagoStartsHere for nothing.
Complimentary breakfast. Kinzie Hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast to all guests. It’s perfect for my family as my kids generally don’t eat a lot for breakfast. Dining out for breakfast ends up being a waste of money. So, a simple continental spread works just fine for us. I do have to offer one word of advice regarding breakfast: it takes place in the hotel’s Double Cross Lounge and it can get a little cramped. Just be prepared to rub elbows (literally) with other guests. Another option is to grab a few things to bring back to the room for your family.
Guest rooms at Kinzie Hotel
There is no such thing as a “standard” guest room at Kinzie Hotel. All rooms are considered “deluxe” because of the top-tier amenities and the invitingly bright and stylish decor. The kids and I shared a Deluxe Guest Room with two double beds. Our room also had a bench-like couch in front of the almost-floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto lively Hubbard Street. That was no couch as far as my kids were concerned; they saw it as “such a cool” bed. They proceeded to argue over who was going to sleep in that “bed” and the big kid came out on top. Regardless, each of us ended up with our own bed for the night and, at least for me, it was glorious.
Like all rooms at Kinzie Hotel, ours also featured an oversized work area. I knew I wouldn’t get much work done during our stay but the generous space and expansive desk were a blessing. The kids brought some art activities along with them and it was so refreshing to see enough space at the desk or both of them to sit and create. That was one argument avoided! Lastly, as a native and lifelong Chicagoan, I definitely appreciated the section of a vintage Chicago map decorating the accent wall. It was stylish but also a nod to our great city.
In addition to Deluxe Guest Rooms, Kinzie Hotel also offers Deluxe City View Rooms; One-Bedroom Suites; Deluxe Corner Rooms; and ADA-compliant Accessible Rooms.
Highlights of our stay at Kinzie Hotel
We used our stay as an opportunity to experience more “hometown travel“. We took advantage of the hotel’s stellar location to be tourists in our hometown. I took the kids to dinner at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse, which is directly across the street from the hotel. I am a die-hard, lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, so former Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray is a big part of my life. Harry truly was a character, almost larger than life, and memories of him live on at his restaurants. Harry passed away before my kids were born so I wanted them to get an idea of who he was and to see his artifacts on display. The following day, I took the kids to the place they’d been begging to return to since last year: Maggie Daley Park. It’s a favorite of locals and visitors alike and it was so easy to get to from Kinzie Hotel.
Kinzie Hotel does not have a swimming pool. You’re probably thinking, how is that a highlight?! Hear me out: kids love pools, especially hotel pools. When kids know there’s a pool at the hotel, that’s ALL they want to do. I know I’ve had many a discussion with my own children about why we’re not just staying at the hotel pool for our entire trip. The absence of a pool eliminates this discussion entirely. Guests, including families, are more encouraged to leave the hotel and go explore the city. Remember Kinzie Hotel’s hashtag, #ChicagoStartsHere? The city doesn’t start and end at a hotel swimming pool, that’s for sure.
My kids and I were hosted by Kinzie Hotel for the purpose of a review. All thoughts and opinions, as always, are 100% my own.